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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 29 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 48
Confused by Obamacare? Here's help - Gay City to host community forum on the Affordable Care Act
Section One
ALL STORIES
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Confused by Obamacare? Here's help - Gay City to host community forum on the Affordable Care Act

by Tim Moffett - Special to the SGN

Do you want to sign up for health care under the Affordable Care Act, but have questions or need assistance? Gay City Health Project invites the community to learn about and sign up for ACA coverage on Saturday, December 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will be held in Gay City's Calamus Auditorium (517 E. Pike St.).

'There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the Affordable Care Act,' said Gay City Executive Director Fred Swanson. 'We want to be able to answer questions and assist the community to enroll using Washington State's successful Health Plan Finder website.'

If you currently don't have health insurance, or you aren't satisfied with your current insurance, or your plan is changing, Washington's Health Plan Finder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) will help you find affordable options. For those who qualify, there are credits and subsidies available to help with premiums.

'One in five LGBT adults under 65 in Washington state is without health insurance,' added Swanson. 'LGBT people in Washington have rates of asthma, diabetes, and heart disease that are above the state average, and a third of women age 40 and over in our community have not been screened for breast cancer. The Affordable Care Act can help change that.'

NEW LGBT BENEFITS
The Affordable Care Act includes several new benefits for the LGBT community. These include:

o Nondiscrimination protections: Public and private health insurers are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.

o Insurance market reforms: The Patient's Bill of Rights phases out annual and lifetime limits on coverage, ends pre-existing condition exclusions, and ends arbitrary rescission of insurance coverage. These protections are especially important for Transgender people and people living with HIV/AIDS.

o Prevention and wellness: Certain preventive services particularly important to LGBT people will soon be covered by insurance as 'essential health benefits,' including HIV testing, depression screening, and tobacco use screening.

o New coverage options: Subsidies will allow many LGBT people to afford to buy health insurance for the first time.

o Data collection: The ACA authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to expand the collection of sexual orientation and gender identity data on national health surveys that help us better understand LGBT health and prioritize spending and research priorities.

WHAT TO BRING
There is no need to register for this event. It will be important to know your Social Security number and income information, though, if you want to sign up for insurance at the event. There will be in-person assisters to help you navigate the process there.

For more information, contact Gay City's LGBT Resource & Referrals volunteers at (206) 323-LGBT (5428), or e-mail resources@gaycity.org.

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